AgriInnovate Program: Step 2. Eligibility

Step 2. Eligibility

Check if you meet the criteria to apply.

Eligibility checklist

You must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible.

  • Examples of for-profit organizations
    • Businesses and/or corporations
    • Cooperatives
    • Indigenous businesses that are corporations (including economic development corporations) or cooperatives

Eligible activities

On the innovation continuum, the program starts at the "technology demonstration" phase through to the "technology adoption" phase.

The innovation continuum

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The innovation continuum consists of 5 phases:

  1. Basic and applied research
  2. Prototype development
  3. Technology demonstration
  4. Commercialization of technology
  5. Technology adoption
    • Commercialization of innovative agricultural technologies or processes
    • Demonstration of innovative agricultural, agri-food or agri-based technologies or processes where all necessary testing and piloting has been completed and the innovation is ready for you to commercialize. The demonstration must involve one or more of the following:
      1. Production of samples for market validation
      2. Creation of a reference or showcase site for pre-commercial demonstration
    • Adoption of commercially ready innovative technologies or processes to the applicant's agriculture or agri-food operations
    Examples of eligible activities include:
    • Commercialization of innovative bio-based plastics and other synthetics as an alternative food packaging material that is new to Canada and provides significant benefits over other bio-based plastics
    • Building a new facility to commercialize a new and significant technique to produce alternative protein or other food products
    • Commercialization of "new to the ag sector" meat cutting technologies or processes that provide significant benefits over established meat cutting options
    • Significant adaptation of robotics equipment used in non-agriculture related sectors to agricultural based situation, such as vertical farm
    • Demonstration of a new and significant artificial intelligence technology platform to assist growing or food processing operations
    • Significant adaptation of a commercially ready controlled environment agricultural system to a northern climate and/or remote areas that improves its sustainability and cost-effectiveness

Important note: Definitions

The program defines "innovation" as the:

  • creation or demonstration of a technology or process that is expected to produce improvements over other competing technologies or processes available to the Canadian agricultural or agri-food sector.
  • adoption of commercially available technologies or processes to address a deficiency facing the agricultural or agri-food sector. The technology or process needs to:
    • be new to the modern Canadian agricultural or agri-food sector
    • be not yet widely adopted in other countries
    • undergo significant adaptation or customization

The program defines “adaptation” as the modification of a technology or process, by the applicant, to a new use or purpose for which it was not originally designed (for example, modification of equipment for use in non-agricultural applications to agricultural applications).

The program defines “customization” as the modification of a technology or process that is being used for its intended purpose to suit the specific requirements or specifications of an applicant (for example, modifications of purchased equipment needed to produce a food product in a way that is not permitted by the design characteristics of the equipment).

Eligible costs

The program may allow for eligible costs to be incurred from the date of the submission of a complete application.

Costs incurred and work undertaken prior to an application being deemed complete are ineligible under the program. Any costs incurred prior to the signing of a contribution agreement will be incurred solely at your risk without any obligation of payment by the program.

All costs claimed or contributed under the program must fall within the program cost categories and respect all limitations. To be considered eligible, all costs must:

  • be included in the project application form budget
  • be related to the activities included in the work plan
  • fall within the work plan activities timeframe
  • fall within the effective dates of the contribution agreement

Projects, activities and budgets can span over more than one fiscal year.

Eligible costs under the program are the incremental, relevant, reasonable and essential expenses required to carry out the eligible activities to which they relate as specifically set out in the contribution agreement.

Eligible costs include but aren’t necessarily limited to the following:

  • Capital expendituresEndnote 1
    • Renovations, site improvements, leasehold improvements, building purchase, construction and related costs
    • Machinery, equipment, and software purchase and installation costs
  • Contracted services
    • Professional or specialized services needed to undertake eligible project activities and for which contracts are entered into, including Indigenous elders
    • Costs of contracted work related to compliance with the Impact Assessment Act (Justice Canada)
  • Salaries/Benefits
    • Labour, including wages/salaries and benefits, and specific per diem fees
  • Other direct project costs
    • Rental, lease of facilities, equipment or machinery
    • Goods and services and all related shipping and transportation costs
    • Start-up costs, including interest capitalized during construction, insurance during construction, fees and charges for operation of equipment for adjustment and calibration, and training
    • Production of materials required to fulfill obligations under the agreement, including translation and production of materials in the second official language
    • Limited marketing costs, such as hiring of marketing expertise and other related activities as may be deemed necessary to the success of the project (a maximum of 20% of total eligible costs are available for marketing activities)
    • Materials/consumables needed to undertake the project
    • Other reasonable costs directly related to the project, at the discretion of AAFC

Ineligible costs

Ineligible costs include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Post-project launch operating costs
  • Capital items not specifically required for the execution of the project
  • Refundable portion of the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax, value-added taxes, or other items for which a refund or rebate is received
  • Any cost, such as amortization or in-kind contributions, that would not result in a direct, out-of-pocket expense for the recipient
  • Land (lease or purchase)
  • Goodwill
  • Existing equipment or buildings owned by a related party
  • Hospitality (for example, meals, entertainment, gifts)
  • Travel
  • Research costs
  • Costs related to regulatory compliance (all regulatory permits must be satisfied prior to applying)
  • Any portion of any cost that, in AAFC's opinion, exceeds the fair market value for that cost item
  • Any other expenditure not specifically listed as eligible or otherwise approved as eligible

Expected results

Your application must show how the activities support the specific outcomes and outputs listed below:

  • Enhance capacity of participating firms to commercialize, demonstrate or adopt innovative technologies or processes that will provide broad agricultural or agri-food sector competitiveness and sustainability benefits
  • Innovations in the agriculture and agri-food sector are generated, commercialized and lead to increased application and adoption across the agricultural or agri-food sector